It seems apropo at this point as the abolishment of Roe v. Wade seems to be a stark possibility with the Alito nomination, and Chief Justice Roberts already installed, to share a story of what it is like to be a woman in Canada and how your right to your own body is treated.
Having lived in the States for almost 12 years and having friends and myself go through this process in both countries, the contrast is shocking. And as I watch a friend go through an unplanned pregnancy now, in Canada, it saddens me to no end what my sisters to the south have to contend with.
So here is a hypothetical tale of what you would experience if you were in a situation in Canada where abortion may be an option for you (if you didn’t realize at the time you were at risk and didn’t just walk into a pharmacy and buy Plan B over the counter…):
- Go onto the web for the city government (lets use Toronto as an example). Open the pdf that talks about “Abortion Options”
- Call the hotline to find out where there is a clinic near you. Speak to very nice woman or man who is more than happy to help (in language of your choice) & advises you to ask questions re: the type of procedure, if it is fully covered by OHIP or if there is a clinic fee of $60 as a few of the clinics charge over and above the OHIP coverage (yes folks, our health care pays for abortion procedures)
- Call clinic, speak to other nice woman or man and tell them that you would like to schedule a procedure. They ask requisite questions concerning when you last had your period and schedule you for an appointment for an ultra-sound, blood work and counseling on the procedure with a nurse for a week from the day you called. Also discuss the different types you can have (i.e. asleep/ not asleep)
- Have appointment. Get appointment for the hospital procedure. Get low cost birth control or counseling on birth control options.
- Go to hospital. Have procedure. Get some pain meds. Go home & rest.
- If needed, call the counselor at the clinic with any concerns post-procedure
No stigma. No shame. No pressure. No payments. No nutjobs screaming or shooting at you. No ‘notifications’. Just you, your choice and a network of health professionals & your government ready to assist you and let you know what your options are.
Your body. Your rights. Your tax dollars at work. Because you are a full citizen and not property, or full of sin.
Contrast that with the US and… well… I’m sorry. Fight on. And on. Don’t give up. For all the future generations of women.